3 Things My Husband and I Do That Keep Our Marriage on Track

THOSE OF YOU who follow my work know that I rarely, if ever, write about my own marriage (at least not in my posts and articles; I did write about my marriage in my last book.) Seems kind of silly, really, considering the things I write about.

I’m not even a particularly private person; I just don’t want anyone to think my marriage should be some sort of model. My marriage is no different from anyone else’s, and half the time I write about relationship stuff—or about anything, actually—I’m trying to sort through my own troubles. (That’s a shared secret of all nonfiction writers.)

That said, I keep coming back to the reasons why my marriage works despite the problems we’ve faced, and I believe there are three specific reasons.

Here are 3 things my husband and I do that keep our marriage on track:

  1. We keep our goals and priorities in the forefront of our minds. You’d be amazed how much easier it is to work through problems when two people share the exact same vision for their lives. Seems obvious, but it isn’t always. My husband and I are both products of unhappy homes: his parents were divorced, and mine had a high-conflict marriage. Both left scars. I still find it fascinating that some kids come from environments like that hell bent on doing things differently, while others fall back into the same patterns. Fortunately for my husband and me, we’re in the first category. Somewhere along the line, he and I—before we ever knew each other—made up our respective minds that when and if we married and had children, nothing was going to get in the way of creating a healthy and happy home environment. Nothing. Not work, not individual desires, not cultural pressures, not friends or family—nothing.
  2. We always function as a team. We simply never think in terms of “I” anymore. It’s always “we.” That means our finances are joint, and our major purchases outside of coffee and chocolate are always discussed. Always. Neither he nor I has ever wondered or worried if the other is spending large sums of money without consulting the other. It just wouldn’t happen. This attitude toward teamwork is also true when it comes to work & family, or parenting/employment/household chores and childcare. I’m always amazed at couples I read about who have ongoing conflict in this domain. If there’s genuine understanding that all these roles are equally valuable and together comprise one giant task—raising a family—there needn’t be any conflict. It’s when couples start playing tit for tat, or when they’re both competing for identical roles that trouble starts.
  3. We are 100% transparent with each other. Seriously, no topic is off limits. Did you know that avoidance of conflict is the #1 predictor of divorce? Not the presence of conflict but the avoidance of it. In other words, it’s not the existence of conflicts or problems that make or break a marriage. It’s what you do with them that matters. For example, let’s say one partner in the marriage is drinking too much and it’s negatively affecting your relationship. That needs to be addressed and dealt with. If you walk around pretending it will go away on its own, it will destroy the marriage. The same is true of any big topic: money, sex, whatever. Your marriage needs to be an open book because silence fosters resentment. And resentment is the death knell of any relationship.

So there you have it. There are, of course, many more things that keep a marriage strong—I think humor and playfulness are critical, as is liking (as opposed to simply loving) one’s spouse. But when I consider the glue that keeps my own marriage together, I keep coming back to the significance of the above three things. I hope they help in whatever way they can.

xoxo,

SV

Here we are 20 years after we first said “I do.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suzanne Venker

Suzanne Venker is an author, columnist and radio host known as The Feminist Fixer. She helps free women from feminism so they can find lasting love with men. Suzanne's newest book, WOMEN WHO WIN at Love: How to Build a Relationship That Lasts, will be published October 2019.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Mary Ann says

    There is one thing you do, that envelops what you said, and a lot more you could have said.
    You clearly respect him, and yourself.

    I cannot personally imagine trying to hold a relationship together, without respect. Respect is the foundation for everything else- alliances, love, cooperation, patience, and all the other qualities necessary to hold a relationship together.

    Listen to feminists. They have a pervasive, hateful, resentful, addictive, militant, energetic disrespect for men. I can’t think of any human being that reacts well to disrespect.

  2. Chris says

    Suzanne thank for your honest comments. After 31 years of marriage with very little conflict, if any, I feel this has become a weakness and not a strength. This has created a situation in which some issues have not been dealt with, that should have been and the person I have known for almost 40 years I know very little about. That is not a good outcome.

    • Lemuel says

      The journey is long, my friend, with many a turn in the road. Pay attention. Listen. Ask questions: what would be really useful to be aware of, right now? 31 years of marriage with no conflict? This is paradise. And stop “shoulding” on yourself, dude. This person you’ve known for 40 years still has a lot of mystery, to explore? How does it get better than that?

      A path opens up, before you, a path of discovery. Could be a lot of fun to walk

  3. John says

    Would you seek a wife, young man
    Focus on a long term plan
    The flower that thou choose in May
    May seem to thee, but fun and play

    When she’s gone to seed, and old
    Her heart will give thee warmth, or cold
    To her mother, give your eye
    Her daughter’s like her, bye and bye

    Watch how she treats weak and slow
    as this, shortly, you will know
    Marry thee, in greater haste
    and your life will be a waste

    Heed this, young man, be not bold
    rush not ye, to wed a scold
    thou mayst marry, for the money
    yet joy comes from heart that’s sunny

    Her small irritations, know
    that to great ones, soon will grow
    In a wife, a sharpened tongue
    Will soon turn your life to dung

    Finest fruit, from tree, select
    green or rotted, do reject
    Marriage may be heaven or hell
    based on your choice, ill, or well

    Wife may be a demon, angel
    with heart confined, or growing well
    Lavish love, on thy good wife
    and you’ll know not fear or strife

    When ye find the gem, commit
    and thy trust to God, remit
    Find good spring, and in it sink
    from her waters, only, drink

    Forbidden fruit, from far, seems sweet
    Taste it, bitter ashes meet
    You feed her body, heart, and soul
    feed her love, to keep her whole

    Always give more than you get
    and pay off quickly, bill and debt
    married bliss is but a flower
    that frequent, loving rain did shower

    In joy, you’ll live out all your days
    and your love, will young amaze
    Great oaks from little seeds do grow
    To, love invested in them, show
    rooted deeply, reaching sky
    marriage may reach just as high

    My grandparents had something like this, in their bedroom.
    They lived this way.
    You seem to, as well.
    A martial arts master is one who masters the craft, and lives it, body and soul.
    The master embodies the craft.
    And so it is with marriage.

  4. David says

    You also aren’t making bizarre videos, that show your body covered in tattoos, as you talk about how lonely and frustrated you are.

  5. Harry says

    One thing you clearly do is keep it on track. This means you pay attention to feedback, and act on it, and plan for the future. Something any good business partner would do.

  6. Chris says

    Suzanne, you respect him. Most American women are incapable of respect for their husbands, or themselves. You apparently communicate clearly with him. Most American women are not capable of this. You clearly do nice stuff for him. Most American women are so solipsist they can’t even imagine doing this. You are clearly committed to him for the long term. Most American women… wouldn’t know where to begin. You form a mutually supportive team. Most American women… have the emotional maturity of a 3 year old.

    In short, you are an intelligent woman who has worked on herself, set clear goals, worked towards them, and is pleasant for him to be around. At least. ANd probably more. Which puts you… in the top 1% of American women. Yeah. I’ve been around the block a few times, and I know.

    Men use metaphors. Many American women are no better than used cars in a car lot. Men know that. Men also understand really high quality machinery, like, say, a Vitamix, or a really good table saw, or Snapon tools. You can get cheap tools that will last a few weeks. Or you can get really good tools. They cost more, but they are a joy to work with. I’m not denigrating you, I’m just offering a metaphor here. You see, you are the Snapon wrench, the high grade wood chisel, for him, as he is for you.

    Cheap tools break in use, just as low grade women don’t last in relationships. Good tools last a lifetime- just as a marriage to a good woman lasts a lifetime.

  7. Joel says

    I suspect that your husband, just maybe, might appreciate being valued, and respected.
    Maybe. And maybe, if, you know, one day a year, a thought comes about what it would be like with a younger woman, a picture comes into his mind, of the horrible harridan that woman would become, very quickly, as they do. He runs a value comparison. Maybe not consciously, but he does. He looks at all your faults. He looks at the energy gradient, the cost of a new one, vs. you. And all the energy rolls to your corner, because it takes far less to maintain a relationship with you, and he gets far more, than he would with another woman. You may have read your aunt’s book on the care and feeding of husbands, and if you did, and you applied it, he is in heaven when he comes home to you. He hears stories about other women from guys at work, and just takes it all in. He hears about one guy, whose wife slept with five different guys during their marriage [a real story]. He hears another guy say that his wife tagsaled all their lawn equipment, for 1/10 replacement cost [a real story] He hears about another wife that never got the oil changed, and her car engine blew up [a real story]. He hears about another wife, who gave him the clap [a very real story- remember, VD is nothing to clap about]. He takes it all in, weighs what he has with you, and realizes he needs to invest more in you, to keep you around. He sees the hatred the feminists dump on you, in the media, and he KNOWS he wants to build you up for that, because few things please men more than seeing feminists upset about something. Your husband realizes that quality of energy means more than the physical flesh, and he looks at the high grade energy you put out, and counts his blessings with you. He may not do all this consciously, but he does it. I assure you he does.

  8. Brian says

    I notice that cars work a lot longer, when they are taken care of. Changing the oil, rotating tires, and so on. And so it is with marriage.
    I’m guessing you’re pleasant with him. Uhhh, that’s half of success in marriage, right there. You invest time in the relationship. You ensure he gets Return on Investment. You are not a wasting asset, you are an asset that adds value. Umm, yeah, if he has brains, and I’m sure he does, he’s not going to walk away from an asset that adds value.

  9. Arthur says

    Let’s see. You committed to the marriage. You aren’t playing with bad boys behind his back. You develop yourself. You seem to have a good diet. You are cheerful, and seem to know how to smile. So, you are in the top 10% of American wives just with that. Uh, no, he’s not going to dump you. He knows very well you cannot be replaced. And deep down, he loves, just loves seeing you go after those nasty feminists, too, because he knows they are the personification of hate.

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